Guidance Trips Plexus

Shares slip despite an earnings beat.
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Plexus

(PLXS) - Get Report

beat the bottom-line forecast for its fourth quarter, but anemic guidance pushed investors to sell the stock in after-hours trading.

Plexus shares fell 4.7%, subtracting $1.02 to $20.74 in extended trading.

The electronics manufacturing services firm, based in Neenah, Wis., said it earned $42.6 million, or 91 cents a share, for its fourth quarter, skyrocketing from $10.5 million, or 24 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding items such as a favorable tax adjustment, Plexus earned $25.5 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $10.6 million, or 24 cents a share. On that basis, the company easily beat the consensus estimate from analysts of 48 cents a share.

On the top line, Plexus reported $396.9 million, up from $322.2 million in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected a shade more at $397.8 million.

For its first quarter, the company forecast revenue in the range of $385 million to $395 million, and EPS in the range of 31 to 35 cents. Analysts had hoped for more, pegging the company for 43 cents a share on sales of $406.9 million.

The dip in sequential revenue is due to lower expectations for a large defense contract offset by ramping new program wins, according to Dean Foate, president and CEO of the company.

Foate said in a press release that the company turnaround, started four years ago, is now complete. He believes annual revenue will rise between 15% and 18% in fiscal 2007, ranging from $1.68 billion to $1.72 billion. Analysts anticipate $1.69 billion.